6 Health Ailments That Accompany Alzheimer’s

Several health risk factors have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s itself can be a risk factor for other health problems, particularly as it progresses to later stages.6 Health Ailments That Accompany Alzheimers

Read to learn more about six health ailments related to Alzheimer’s.

Health Ailments That Accompany Alzheimer’s

In the United States, roughly five million people have Alzheimer’s.

Research has shown that the disease results from multiple factors rather than a single cause, and common risk factors include advanced age, family history and certain genetic mutations.

Due to the effects Alzheimer’s has on the body, it also increases an individual’s risks for other health ailments, especially as the disease advances.

Health Risks of Impaired Communication

In the early stages, Alzheimer’s affects not just memory but language as well. So, seniors with Alzheimer’s may not report symptoms of another illness, such as a cold or even an injury.

The Mayo Clinic explains that the cognitive changes, impaired judgement and memory loss of Alzheimer’s make it more difficult to treat other health conditions.

For instance, people with Alzheimer’s may not follow a prescribed treatment plan for another illness, and they may not notice any other medication’s side effects. So, what might start as a minor health issue may escalate to a severe problem.

Health Conditions Linked to Alzheimer’s

As Alzheimer’s advances to later stages, it impacts a person’s ability to swallow and balance, and control their bowels and bladder. At that point, individuals become susceptible to several serious health problems, including:

  1. Depression: Lack of social interaction and cognitive decline may lead to depression as well as mood swings, aggressive or violent behavior, delusions and personality changes.
  2. Fall-related injuries: Poor balance can lead to falls and related injuries, including fractures and serious head injuries.
  3. Immobility: Seniors with late stage Alzheimer’s are often bedridden, putting them at risk for bed sores, loss of muscle function and infections.
  4. Malnutrition and dehydration: The more difficult it becomes to ingest food or water, the more likely a senior with Alzheimer’s may become malnourished or suffer dehydration.
  5. Pneumonia: The inability to swallow correctly increases a person’s chances of inhaling or aspirating food or liquid into their lungs; aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of death for people with Alzheimer’s.
  6. Urinary tract infections: Loss of bladder control may require insertion of a urinary catheter, which increases risks for urinary tract infections.

Decreasing Alzheimer’s-Related Illnesses

Alzheimer’s affects individuals differently. So, not all people will suffer the same Alzheimer’s-related health conditions, although incontinence and difficulty swallowing are common ailments.

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented. But, people with a family history of Alzheimer’s or dementia may consider incorporating certain life style habits into their routine. According to the National Institutes of Health, these habits include:

  • Eating a low-fat diet, including cold-water fish (tuna, salmon and mackerel) that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Increasing intake of antioxidants by consuming plenty of dark-colored fruits and vegetables
  • Maintaining a healthy blood pressure
  • Staying socially and mentally active throughout life

Talk to your health care provider about your risks for Alzheimer’s before you make any life style changes, especially if you already take medication for another health issue.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Kevin witzer

    My wife has Alzheimers, sadly at the relatively early age of 58. She has started to ask for lots of sugar with her breakfast whether it be porridge or cereal, this seems to be a common trend?
    She now complains of constant headaches and nausea although they are not severe but are relentless, I cannot get an answer for this from the GP or the specialist nurse!
    Is this a common trait and what can be done?
    We discussed with the GP for her to come off of Sertralin which is a common treatment for Alzheimers re depression, she has been on a half dose for a week?
    She has been suffering from nightmares but I have researched and found the cause of this to be the application of Rivastigmine patches applied i the pm rather than the am. This is now resolved.
    Is it possible that her comming off Sertralin, although still on a half dose is the cause of the headaches?

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